Thanks to all who entered the Energizer Inductive Phone Charged Contest. We pored through your entries and chose the three that left us slack-jawed with awe.
Last labor day, when the 4 Mile fire broke out in the mountains above Boulder, I was already on a medical call for my local FD. We made it back to the station pronto and loaded up a few trucks to go fight what would become one of the most destructive fires in Colorado history. The Initial Attack was quite insane. High winds, lots of fuel, major evacuations and a fire that was quickly consuming acres of dense forest and homes.
Good thing my iPhone was fully charged that morning! I got some of the only pictures and video within the perimeter of the fire during the first 30 hours. Fortunately, nobody got hurt but a lot of homes were lost...
Thank God my phone was charged on the morning of April 27th, 2011. I live in Alabama, where the tornados hit. I was called that morning at 6 am, by my mother. I grabbed my phone and son, then ran for my grandparents' home—the only basement shelter we had. Soon after, the tornados ripped through, destroying everything in its path—including the power plant lines. Radios weren't working very well, because most of the radio stations had lost power as well. My phone was the only link to the outside world I had—it kept us informed on the continuously dangerous weather situation that lasted into the night, and doubled as a flashlight thanks to a few handy apps. (Plus, Angry Birds was a welcome distraction.) Because no gas station in a 50 mile radius had gas or power, I even used it to find how to siphon gas from one tank to another so we could make it out of the disaster area the next day. Thank God my phone was charged, or there is no telling what could have happened to my family and me.
As a professional truck driver it is not uncommon for me to be the first to come across the scene of an accident. The one that I came across this week made me very grateful that my Droid X was charged!
At about 3:30 AM just across the Virginia/North Carolina line headed north on I-85, a navy blue minivan passed me, traveling the speed limit and staying in his lane. As the van was passing another tractor-trailer I saw brake lights from both of the vehicles. The van then braked again and put on his emergency flashers. The tractor-trailer continued. Assuming that the van may have hit something in the road I slowed down so that I could safely dodge whatever it was. As I approached the van I could see that it was still on the inside lane of the interstate and people were exiting it, or what was left of it. The drivers side front of the van was gone, along with the tire, and most of the outside of the van on that side!
I pulled my rig over to the shoulder of the interstate about 20 yards past the accident and turned on my emergency flashers so that there would be plenty of room to get between us. As I ran over to the occupants of the van I started the 911 call. There was an elderly couple and four men that appeared to be in there thirties around the van. As the emergency operator picked up it occurred to me that I had failed to note the mile marker of the accident as I approached. I asked the operator if she could pin point me through my phones gps, she said she could try and in a few seconds they had me located. I handed my tactical light to one of the men to get the attention of on coming traffic and warn them to slow down and change lanes.
Having no light to look at the cut on the older gentlemen's head, I used my Droid X's MotoLED app to give me the light I needed to asses his injuries. As I was tending to him I noticed an approaching tractor-trailer. He should have been down-shifting by now. Uh-oh. The young man I gave my tactical light to was waving it franticly but the rig was not slowing down! I stepped towards the young man to pull him out of the lane when the driver of the truck must have suddenly noticed us. As he slammed on the brakes his rig started to jack-knife. I thought as I watched his trailer come around, "if I can just grab the young mans sleeve I can pull him under the trailer as it passes over us." As I reached for the young man with the light, the driver of the rig released his brake and the his vehicle straightened out. He drove in to the emergency lane and back out again before coming to a stop some fifty yards past us. I still do not know how he avoided hitting my set of doubles. As he drove off I handed my Droid X to the man with the light and set the motoLED app to strobe. This seemed to work much better at getting the attention of approaching drivers. Everyone else slowed and went safely around us.
After giving my statement to a patrolman, I retrieved my Droid X and left to continue back to Richmond. After the initial call, GPS activation, flashlight, and strobe, I still had more than enough battery life to call the drivers that work with me and recount the events and warn them about the area as they approached. Keep your phone charged. You never know what you may need it for!
OK, you've read them and wept, now vote below for the winner of an Energizer Inductive Charger, built with Qi technology, the universal wireless charging standard!